One thing about creative work I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to is continually finding myself at the starting line. You finish a project, ship it, take a little time to chill…and then you’re back at the starting line. The starting line is the blank page, the blank canvas, the text editor empty of code. For me that blankness, that emptiness, that void, can be so big and so loud that I will squirm away from it any way I can. Dishes, laundry, cleaning the kids’ toenails, you name it.
Heck, I’ll even write a blog post to get away from that looming starting line. *cough*
Did you hear about Felix Baumgartner and his death-defying leap from space on Sunday? Unless you’ve been holed up in a cave (doing your creative work perhaps), you’ve no doubt heard how he broke the world record for highest sky dive, and became the first human to break the speed of sound unassisted in the process. Here’s a video of his jump, in case you haven’t seen it. He jumps at the 1:00 mark.
Look how he just steps away from the capsule. Like it’s no big thing. Just, *step* and he’s off.
A long time ago I did a ropes course at a camp. The course ended on a platform high in the trees, with a trapeze swing hanging a few feet from the platform. To finish the course, you had to jump from the platform and grab the trapeze swing. Then the crew below would lower you safely to the ground.
But first, you had to jump.
When I got to the platform, I looked at the trapeze swing and it looked so far away. I thought, No way. But the crew member on the platform with me said something I’ll never forget.
“The longer you wait, the harder it is to jump.”
When you hesitate, you give your fears room to grow. You give your inner critic time to whisper all those lies about how what you’re going to do is stupid or dangerous or how you suck and you’re a hack and you’re never going to see your dreams come true because your dreams are stupid and so are you for dreaming them.
Felix Baumgartner didn’t wait. He stepped out of the capsule. Then he stepped away from the capsule and fell 128,000 MILES back to earth.
What trapeze swing is hanging in front of you?
Stop hesitating. Jump already.